Monday, July 11, 2005

You Duped Me Lord?

You duped me, O LORD, and I let myself be duped; you were too strong for me, and you triumphed. All the day I am an object of laughter; everyone mocks me. Whenever I speak, I must cry out, violence and outrage is my message; The word of the LORD has brought me derision and reproach all the day. I say to myself, I will not mention him, I will speak in his name no more. But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones; I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it. Yes, I hear the whisperings of many: "Terror on every side! Denounce! let us denounce him!" All those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine. "Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail, and take our vengeance on him." But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion: my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph. In their failure they will be put to utter shame, to lasting, unforgettable confusion. O LORD of hosts, you who test the just, who probe mind and heart, Let me witness the vengeance you take on them, for to you I have entrusted my cause. Sing to the LORD, praise the LORD, For he has rescued the life of the poor from the power of the wicked! (Jeremiah 20:7-13)

Recently, a couple of people have asked why I call my blog "You Duped Me Lord." Back in December, when nobody was reading it, I took time to explain. Now that traffic has picked up a bit, I thought it might help to recap.

The title comes from one of the laments of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 20). It is probably translated more often as "you enticed me Lord" or "you seduced me Lord," but may favorite translation of it is "You duped me Lord, and I let myself be duped!" If you've read the books of any of the prophets in the Old Testament, you know that this is often exactly the way they feel, because much of the time they were the ones charged by God with bringing "bad news" to the people, and often found themselves persecuted for it. So, you often hear them saying things to the effect of "Hey God, this is not what I signed up for!"

For me, these words express something at the heart of the mystery of vocation, the life which God wants for each of us. God has a plan for each of us and, if we listen, we can hear God calling. But God knows us well enough that if he told us everything that was going to happen if we answer his call, most of us would probably tell him to take a hike! Who wants that hardship, that persecution, that uncertainty? So, at the beginning we say yes to some idealized vision of what we think God is calling us to, only to find out later that there is a lot more to it than we expected. Joys, yes, but pain and persecution too. When we accept God's invitation we find that it is both much harder and much more wonderful than we ever imagined (but we don't always see both these things at the same time!). Thus, we find ourselves DUPED, and we can only complain so much because we also realize that we let it happen, I LET MYSELF BE DUPED.

This is God's invitation for all of us--to let ourselves be duped. If you're going to be duped, you might as well let God be the one to do it. God's the only one we can trust to dupe us with our best interests in mind, even if it doesn't always seem that way. If you read Jeremiah, you see that he knew that all too well.


Blogger Susan Rose, CSJP said...

Thanks for the explination. And happy the traffic has picked up and you're still writing!

I'm becoming very fond of the prophets. Holy people, yes, but human too. There's a lot to be learned from them.


PS - looking forward to the next installment of those darned jesuits!

12:20 PM  
Blogger angelmeg said...

funny, somehow I never had any problem understanding why you chose that title. Ever since I began reading your blog I have understood that it fit. I know exactly what you mean, because I feel that way about following God.


10:25 PM  

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